Photo of John Hemming

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his statements during the debate on 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 1303, on 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 1551 and on 12 January 2006, Official Report, column 486, on gas supply, how he calculated the figures regarding the costs of energy to British and German industry.

Photo of Malcolm Wicks

Malcolm Wicks (Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry; Croydon North, Labour)

The statement on 12 January,

"Our liberalised markets mean that the cost of industrial gas is also competitive. In the past 14 years, the cost of energy to British industry has been around £8 billion less than the cost to German industry"

referred to the difference in cost were UK industry to have paid German prices for the gas they consumed over the period 1990 to 2004. The statistics for the prices to UK and German industries were taken from the IEA publication 'Energy Prices and Taxes' and Ofgem estimates, while the consumption of UK industry was taken from the IEA publication 'Energy Statistics of OECD countries'. A similar exercise undertaken by Ofgem came to the same figure.

The statement on 16 February,

"over the past 10 years British companies have paid £9 billion less for their energy than German companies, for instance, but there is an issue here that we need to tackle"

referred to the difference in cost were UK industry to have paid German prices for the gas and electricity they consumed over the period 1995 to 2004. The statistics for the prices to UK and German industries were taken from the IEA publication 'Energy Prices and Taxes', while the consumption of UK industry was taken from the IEA publication 'Energy Statistics of OECD countries'.

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